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Introducing Our Brand New MA Pathway

Blog — 11th April 2022

Introducing Our Brand New MA Pathway

Have you ever asked yourself, “What does the common good look like?” Have you ever wondered how Christians are called to bring about community flourishing? Do you want to change the world? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then our new MA Theology (Community Development and Social Change) is the course for you!

The Master of Arts in Theology (Community Development and Social Change) pathway is aimed at students from a wide range of backgrounds, academic traditions and spiritualities, who have a critical curiosity and a sense of call to both understand and have an impact on their world, through faith based community development.

Our expert tutors will guide students will explore new ways to re-see and reimagining their world and their relationship to it and in doing so, develop approaches that help others to re-see and reimagine their own worlds. This spiritual, philosophical, political and practical journey is both deeply personal and intentionally collective.

Ready to learn more? Here are six reasons to take your next steps towards transformation…

1. It’s Accessible

The pathway is designed to work round your existing work, family, or caring commitments. Over the course of your degree, you will attend six intensive learning sessions in Manchester, supplemented by supported online learning.

For our first cohort, in addition to weekly online seminars, you will join us in Manchester for:

Foundations for Understanding and Practising Community

Friday 30th September 2022/Saturday 1st October 2022

Monday 7th November 2022, Tuesday 8th November 2022, Wednesday 9th November 2022

The Kingdom of God, Power and Social Change

Wednesday 9th November 2022, Thursday 10th November 2022, Friday 11th November 2022

Friday 16th December 2022, Saturday 17th December 2022

Theories and Theologies of Change

Thursday 26th January 2023, Friday 27th January 2023, Saturday 28th January

Monday 20th March 2023, Tuesday 21st March 2023, Wednesday 22nd March 2023

Transformational Learning

Wednesday 22nd March 2023, Thursday 23rd March 2023, Friday 24th March 2023

Friday 2nd June 2023, Saturday 3rd June 2023

2. It’s Relevant

The people contributing to the pathway are experts in community development and community organising, theology and social action and practical ways of achieving individual and social change. We will use theory and theology to explore how our world can be changed to more closely reflect God’s kingdom.

Anna Whitfield

Anna has been involved in youth and community work in Manchester for nearly 25 years. She has worked in statutory, church and voluntary sector spaces and is committed to her neighbours, to disagreeing well and to seeing people flourish. Anna is convinced change is needed in order to see Gods’ shalom in communities. She is excited to lead a course which offers ways of thinking and tools for practice to equip Christians to be part of that change.

Dr Dave Beck 

Dave has extensive experience as an educator and practitioner in Community Development, previously creating and leading the successful MA at the University of Glasgow. His research interests are rooted in participatory approaches to thinking about and doing empowering practice for social change. He is a member of the International Committee of the Community Development Society. Currently, he is co-editor of the Radical Community Work Journal. His book Community Development for Social Change is a key text for anyone wanting to engage with ideas of community flourishing.

3. It’s Challenging

You will study theological ideas and social theories which will enable you to consider your role in the transformation of our world and how different ways of thinking and acting might enhance that.

Foundations for Understanding and Practising Community (ST7701) 

  • This unit critically interrogates the theological and theoretical foundations required to both understand and analyse the concepts of community, community building and community transformation. Drawing on insights from practical theology and a range of social theories, students will deconstruct the contested concepts of community, power, identity, and social change within the neoliberal epoch and engage with theological reflection relating to these same issues. They will critically evaluate a range of frameworks and models and consider their applicability to analyse social phenomena and shape practice which is theologically informed and enables change processes at an individual, community and societal level.

Theories and Theologies of Change (ST7703)

  • This unit critically analyses extant theories, theologies, and models of social change. It takes as its starting point the interconnected nature of individual, community, and structural change. Set within an understanding of hegemonic control, it explores holistic conceptions and processes of change done with rather than to people using critical reflection, dialogical learning and collective action. It analyses our theological justifications for intervention in the lives of people and the socially constructed nature of their own subjectivities as a reflexive process which enables a deep understanding of their own formation and transformation. Finally, it explores theoretical and practical ways of working with people to re-see, rename and change the world.

The Kingdom of God, Power and Social Change (ST7702)

  • Study for this module takes as its starting point an understanding of power as displayed in Christ crucified and so grapples with the contradictions inherent in conceptions of power and its application in the pursuit of social change. We critically examine the exercise of social power and the development of social and church-based movements from the perspective of critical theories and contextualised theologies. We then pose questions about what can realistically what can realistically be achieved through these processes of social change in both individual/collective and local/global contexts. This will be done by critically examining community organising models as examples of people power and the development of counter-hegemony as a long-term strategy for achieving structural change.

4. It’s Recognised

Nazarene Theological College is an approved partner of The University of Manchester, delivering programmes developed by Nazarene Theological College, approved by and leading to an award of the University of Manchester. This means the your qualification is fully accredited by a university that is highly regarded internationally, including being recently ranked 1st in the world for impact when measured against the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

5. It’s Affordable

The College is supported by gifts and donations from Churches and from individual donors, and this allows student fees to be set at a competitive rate. You can learn more about our  Full- and part-time MA and PhD courses at NTC are designated for funding by the Office for Students and you can learn more about our fees and funding options on our dedicated web page.

6. It Comes Highly Recommended 

This MA is such an exciting opportunity. If you’re passionate about faith based community development it’s a must! Expert teaching, rooted in practice, and based at a college already making a big difference in the world. I can’t recommend enough that you join the journey with what will no doubt be an inspiring group of fellow learners.

Ben Gilchrist, Chief Executive, Caritas Shrewsbury

Whether you are already engaged at the neighbourhood level, addressing justice issues in public and political spheres or in humanitarian work, this interdisciplinary MA will prepare you theologically and practically to affect community transformation. NTC has thoughtfully and pedagogically designed this unique programme to be both accessible and affordable. You will be hard pressed to find a comparable one.

Revd Michael A Mata, Board member, Christian Community Development Association and Professor of Urban Studies and Theology, Nazarene Theological Seminary

Your Next Steps

If you still want to learn more…

Our course page has all of the details about fees and funding, modules and modes of study. Our virtual Open Day website has lots of information about the College and interviews with current students. You can also join us at our Postgraduate Open Evening on Tuesday 17th May

If you want to talk to the tutors…

Both Anna and Dave would be happy to chat more about the course and your options. Simply click on their names to send them an email.

If you’re ready to apply…

Fill in this form to begin the application process.